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Liebherr Develops Wheel Loader for Demanding Applications

Thu July 13, 2017 - Midwest Edition #14
Construction Equipment Guide

The Liebherr L 538 all-round wheel loader provides high productivity in recycling applications.
The Liebherr L 538 all-round wheel loader provides high productivity in recycling applications.

Liebherr's L 538 mid-size loader with a Z-bar linkage has a respective tipping load of 20,945 lb. (9,500 kg) and a bucket capacity of 3.4 cu. yd. (2.6 cu m). The three models comprising the new generation of mid-size loaders are: the L 526, L 538 and L 546.

The hydrostatic driveline provides fuel savings of up to 25 percent in comparison with wheel loaders of the same size class, according to the manufacturer. Liebherr offers numerous application-specific solutions to increase versatility. With these models, customers can choose between Z-bar linkage for standard applications and parallel lift arms for industrial applications.

Larger Axles and Robust Steel Structures Increase Reliability

The all-round wheel loaders fulfil the requirements of companies from the widest variety of sectors. For example, an important field of application is the recycling industry, where operators place particularly high demands on the machines. Multiple-shift operation with up to 6,000 operating hours per year and working with solid rubber tires or foam filled tires are typical of wheel loader operations in this sector. Reliability is of the utmost importance as wheel loaders in recycling operations play a key role in the production process.

The new L538 wheel loader has been configured for these stringent requirements with a focus in durability. Larger axles are featured in the mid-size loaders to increase durability. These have automatic self-locking differentials that provide the greatest degree of traction, even on rough terrain, according to the manufacturer.

The steel frame structure and the two lift arm variants of the new L538 all-round wheel loader has been optimized to improve durability. High-quality hydraulic components round off the package for increased durability.

Ensuring Productivity With a More Efficient Driveline

The L538 is powered by an efficient Tier IVf / stage IV diesel engine and offers 153 hp / 114 kW (SAE J1349). Its engine output is tuned to the requirements of the powerful hydrostatic drive. The Liebherr power efficiency plays controls the engine in such a way that it delivers the greatest possible amount of power even at low engine speeds. The result is efficient operation and fuel savings of up to 25 percent compared to wheel loaders of the same size class, according to the manufacturer.

The hydrostatic driveline allows rapid and continuous acceleration in all speed ranges, without discernible gear-changing processes and without interruption in tractive force. In addition, it autonomously applies the brakes so that the service brake only has to provide supportive assistance and thus remains almost free of wear. Continuous traction control, combined with automatic self-locking differentials, prevents wheel spin. This means that tire wear is reduced by up to 25 percent and operating costs are decreased.

The exhaust gas after-treatment system comprises a diesel oxidation catalyst (DOC), diesel particle filter (DPF) and selective catalytic reduction (SCR). The system effectively reduces the emission of pollutants.

The configuration of the L538 is such that all heavy components like the diesel engine are located in the rear. Therefore, the center of gravity shifts to the rear of the machine requiring less additional counterweight and attaining higher tipping loads with low operating weight. This means that operators can use larger buckets in everyday operations and hence optimize handling capacity and productivity, according to the manufacturer.

Uncompromised Safety and Comfort

A wide access ladder leads to a roomy, modern, comfortable cab that is ergonomically adjusted to suit the machine operator. The interior of the cab is logically structured and provides a spacious feeling. Storage and stowage facilities appear tidy and are well-conceived down to the smallest detail. Displays, control elements and operator's seat form an ergonomic unit. The control instruments are laid out in a clear manner so the machine operator can view all operation-related machine data at a glance. In addition, they can adjust the height of the touch-screen display to each individual preference on the A pillar.

The new electro-hydraulic system allows operators to program the lift arm and bucket positions from the cab as desired.

With respect to maintenance, the focus also is on safety and comfort. Main routine components are conveniently located to ensure all maintenance points are safely, easily and rapidly accessible.

Focus on Versatility: Specific Solutions for Standard and Industrial Applications

The Liebherr wheel loaders in the mid-size range offer a wide range of equipment options for customer-specific applications.

Customers can choose between Z-bar linkage for standard applications and parallel lift arms for industrial applications. Both lift arm variants offer rapid response characteristics and allow efficient working. The Z-bar linkage provides high torque in lower lift arm positions. It is the right choice when the wheel loader has to break-out material from a pile. The challenges are different in the case of industrial applications. For example, recycling companies often work with heavy equipment such as high-tip buckets to move bulky and demanding material such as scrap metal, building rubble or glass. The parallel lift arm system is the best choice for such duties. It has high power in the upper lift arm range and offers parallel guidance that is advantageous for such applications.

If desired, the LIKUFIX hydraulic quick hitch system is available for the wheel loaders in the mid-size range. With LIKUFIX, the machine operator can safely change between several mechanical and hydraulic tool attachments within a short period of time simply by pressing a button in the cab. Here, the hydraulic lines are connected automatically. In this way, the widest variety of applications can be completed efficiently with the right tool attachment without the machine operator losing valuable time changing the equipment.

Independent of the field of application, the cooling system of the new all-round wheel loader reliably performs its task. It is installed directly behind the operator's cab in the rear chassis. This is the cleanest part of the wheel loader, where the radiator can draw in low-dust air. In the case of particularly dust-intensive applications, such as in sawmills or paper mills, equipment options such as a fluff screen, reversible fan drive and a coarse-meshed radiator grille protect the cooling system. These protective measures ensure uniform cooling performance. They also reduce cleaning and maintenance requirements, which increases machine availability. Non-slip foot plates and stable hand rails provide a high degree of safety when cleaning the cooling system.

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